Sharadhanjali to Chess Players

G. Chandrasekhar - I met him for the first and only time at the All India Inter-Varsity Team Championship hosted by Osmania University at Hyderabad sometime in mid 1973 - I think it was the encounter between Madras University and Bombay University and we were both playing on the 3rd board for our respective teams - The game was a King's Indian Saemisch variation where I played black with ...Nc6 and won after the standard pawn sacrifice on d4 - I recall that my opponent had written on his scoresheet C.Gopalan instead of G.Chandrasekhar and a few players remarked that he did not want his friends or family to know that he was playing in a chess event - At any rate I was quite disturbed to learn sometime in the 1979 Trichy National-A from my old friend Avinash Awate that Chandrasekhar had passed away , presumably found drowned in a swimming pool at Bombay - It was thought that he had drowned accidentally in the swimming pool , unnoticed by those present but there was also a lot of loose talk from people around - Some said that young GC had been involved with the daughter of an influential person within Bombay circles - Presumably warned to withdraw from the situation he had persisted and the events that followed might not have been accidental – I am quite unsure whether this might have been idle gossip but in any case we had lost a keen young chess lover from Bombay University circles and if I remember right , the bulletin brought out by the then functioning CPAI (Chess players Assn of India) containing the games of the 1979 National-A Trichy was dedicated to GC – GC must have been born close to 1954 plus or minus a year and he might have been just close to 24 when he passed away – I will try to locate his game and insert it here later - S. Ganesan - I was deeply shocked and very sorry to learn in the 2nd half of this year in 2007 that "Kanyakumari" Sankar Ganesan had passed away at Neyveli at the age of 48 - It has become fairly common nowadays in Indian circles to learn that someone close to us has either met with a serious accident on the road or that they have had a fatal heart attack - Ganesan played in several National-A events and played on many major occasions for the Neyveli Lignite Corporation - Well known for his strong theoretical approach in the openings , he was an expert in several lines like handling the black side of the Classical Sicilian - I have seen several games with Ganesan facing the Sozin attack or Richter Rauzer and obtain very promising positions for the black side - Vishwanathan Anand won the famous Palani event in 1985 where all the 5 IMs from Tamil Nadu took part apart from famous players all over the country - Anand won the event with +9 =1-1 and his solitary loss in the event was to S.Ganesan in a Richter Rauzer where Ganesan played black - Ganesan was also quite expert in playing the black side of QGD Tartakower , white side of KID four pawn attack ( I am reminded of people like GM Anatoly Vaisser , Poobesh Anand , Jonathan Utarid ) - Above all Ganesan was known for his gentlemanly behaviour - I remember a Leningrad Dutch game where I was black in the Mariammal Mahalingam rating event at Coimbatore in mid 1983 where Ganesan himself pointed out that he had lost on time - We had many interesting encounters where I managed to win from drawn or worse positions with a few draws too - I was down with severe asthma problems during the Neyveli 1988 National-A and had to think up something new and unexpected for my mid tournament encounter with this theoretician - It was pretty tough to think up something unexpected as Ganesan was very well versed in opening theory - I finally opted for Julian Hodgson's "snake" Benoni and readers will find this game in Megabase - I will try to locate these games and insert them here - Ganesan was also good "company" for all his friends - He would attend many parties with us and was also fond of playing cards in games like "mangattha" etc - Perhaps he was not as mindful of his health and lifestyle as he should have been which is why problems might have cropped up towards the end - G. Hariram - Gentleman from Madurai , whom I met for the first time perhaps in the Mappillai Vinayagar event held at their office premises during 1975 - He was employed in the same concern headed by Shri. M. A. Kandaswamy - Shri.Hariram probably belonged to the same Sourashtra community that can be seen spread out all over Madurai - He used to actually play in many tournaments and in later years he was often seen , officiating as the Chief Arbiter in major events held at places like Palani - I am not sure whether we met over the board but we did meet at many places where I was a player and he the arbiter - Hariram's grandsons had their photo taken with D.V.Prasad and I during one of their annual events and in later years both have become famous in different ways - B.T. Muralikrishna is well known as the National - A player who plays and also coaches upcoming youngsters - B.T.Sethuraman is also known for his coaching activities and he plays a more significant role as the Secretary of the new Madurai District Chess Association - I am sorry to learn that Shri.Hariram is no more and towards the end he must have faced health problems that normally come with the advanced aged condition - Hrishikesh Mukerji - the well known director of so many Hindi movies - I think he was around for the prize function of the Accumax open event held at the Matunga Gymkhana at Bombay in 1976 - The tournament had top players from all over the country playing with the exception of Manuel Aaron and I ended up 2nd with 12.5 / 15 from + 11 = 3 -1 in a tie with the Hyderabad veteran Mohammed Hassan who had the same score with + 10 = 5 - During the final function I remember Shri.Mukerji had come in white and spent some time talking to us - I understand that he used to want chess books and magazines from time to time procured for him by the son-in-law of filmstar Gemini Ganesan from the office of Chess Mate -Of course we all liked his movies very much and it is pretty tough for us laymen to remember which good movies were directed by whom - I will try to compile a list and put it down here later - I also remember other people from the cine field who used to dabble a bit with chess - Vinod Khanna used to frequent Otters club at Bandra around the same time close to 1978 and in later years we had Aamir Khan who would play chess at the house of my Bangalore student Abid Majid - Iqbal Krishna - I did not know Mr. Iqbal Krishna very well as he was quite senior to me in age - He was the chief arbiter of the National Junior championship held at St . Stephen's College , New Delhi during December 1974 - I remember that the temperature was close to zero degrees celsius though I had gone quite cheerfully attired in a thin terylene shirt and hawaii chappals - My tolerance to cold and hot weather and bad conditions in general has been quite good - I gathered that Shri. Iqbal Krishna was a rather senior figure in Delhi chess circles but I always wondered about his name - It struck me that certain people tend to have mixed names as their parents feel rather strongly about religious unity or possibly they come from a mixed background - Another person I came across with a similar sounding mixed name was when I met in 1987 at Tumkur the senior IPS officer involved earlier in the publicised Pavagada firing incident Mr. Abdul Rehman Infant - Kalim . J . Ali - I recall that the very first chess tournament won by me was sometime in January 1973 when I won the IIT Staff club event in a 7 round swiss with around 40 participants - (I think that the previous event was won by the veteran R.J.Mehra ,a contemporary of Indian chess legend Mir Sultan Khan! - This event held at the IIT Staff Recreation Club in 1971 under the shadow of war with Pakistan, was actually the 1st Madras District Chess Championship) Prominent players taking part were the Finnish master Hannu Keto , R.Raghunathan , T.R.Jayaraman - I won the event with 5 wins and 2 draws - I recall that the 1st draw came early perhaps in round-2 or 3 against the local player Kalim.J.Ali , an IIT student - I think that I had two bishops against a bishop and knight with slight plus as Black in a Sicilian Alapin game but could make no headway in the ending as the IIT boy played accurately - A few years later I ran into my old friend K.Prabhakaran of HAL , Bangalore who had done his Aeronautical Engg at the same IIT Madras possibly around the same time - I was shocked to learn from him that Kalim . J. Ali had passed away shortly after our encounter in a fatal accident at Madras when he apparently fell off a local city bus and came under its rear wheel - I will try to locate his game and insert it here later - Dr. A. V. Krishna Rao - Humanities department at IIT Madras - Drew with me in one of the rounds of the major open event held at the Hindu reading room 1977 at Vizag - I think that that I won our other encounter earlier in the TN State Championship at Rajapalayam 1976 - Seemed to like chess a great deal to want to travel and play - G. Livingston - Madras based gentleman who wore a white apron kind of coat most of the time - I met him for the first time during the YMCA event in mid 1972 where he was the organiser of the event held at the YMCA opposite the High Court at Madras - We met on many occasions at Madras as I used to play in many tournaments and Mr.Livingston was active on the organising side - I did not know much else about him on the personal front - The last I recall was during the TN state chp held at Madras in 1992 - I won the event with +6 = 3 and just after one of my wins a bit of analysis was going on - "...h3 wins " said a tough and gruff sounding voice from behind me and without turning around I thought it sounded like my old friend and IIT player S.Kailasanathan - It turned out to be his elder brother S.Subramaniam who used to play a good game too - Livingston came up to me and remarked " We don't see you around so often anymore " He added "the kind of game you play requires a lot of practice" I could not decipher what he was suggesting but I am sure he meant well - G. Livingston was more or less behind the founding of the Madras District Chess Association getting it registered - He also functioned as its Secretary in the initial years - Founded in 1971 under the old name of Madras, the Madras District Chess Association began with T. Sikhamani (a former AICF Secretary) as President and G. Livingston (1926-2004) as Secretary. A dedicated chess community worker par excellence. Livingston went through the legalities of a new society and got it registered quickly. The 1st Madras District Chess Championship held at the IIT Staff Recreation Club in 1971 under the shadow of war with Pakistan, was won by R. J. Mehra, a contemporary of Indian chess legend Mir Sultan Khan! Mehroze Vachcha - I met the gentleman for the first and perhaps only time towards the closing rounds of the National-B at Ahmedabad in May 1973 - It was my first National-B and Mr.Vachcha seemed to be an experienced campaigner - Our game was a Modern Benoni where Vachcha appeared to be well versed with the theoretical handling of Benoni positions as Black - I had a tough time in the middle game but managed to eventually prevail with my bishop pair - I could not be sure whether he was a Parsi which seemed rather likely going by his name but learnt later that he was from Hyderabad and had developed some kind of anxiety neurosis in connection with his property matters before passing away - Quite likely that old timers like Manuel Aaron , Nasir Ali , Mohd.Hassan and Nasiruddin Ghalib would have known about him a great deal more - I will locate the game to have it inserted here - V. G. K. Murthy - I never got to play any games with Shri.VGKM - In mid 1977 I was present as the Tamil Nadu state coach at Kottayam and witnessed the following opening moves 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5 Bb4 5 e5 h6 6 Bd2 Bc3 7 Bc3 Ne4 8 Bb4 c5 9 dc5 ?! Nf2! 10 Kf2 Qh4 11 g3 Qb4 was seen in V.G.K.Murthy versus R.Krishnan at the National-B Kottayam 1977 - VGKM was a yoga expert and we met again during the National-A at Vijayawada in 1979 - I recall that the score sheet book given to all participants in the event contained a lot of advice about good health tips , yoga etc possibly sponsored by him - VGKM was a great chess enthusiast , health fad buff and perhaps even motivated in politics , holding strong views - Lived most of the time in Vijayawada - T. P. Narayanan - A Namboodhiri from Kerala , Shri.TPN as he was called worked at LIC Coimbatore and was for a long period the Secretary of the Coimbatore District Chess Association - For a brief period around 1987-1988 he was the Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Chess Association - He accompanied V. Anand to the World Junior at Manila in mid 1987 who won the event to notch up his first GM norm - Shri.TPN was also around as the local and chief organiser of the Sakthi Finance GM event held at Coimbatore in 1987-1988 where Anand completed his GM title requirements by winning the event - We had a long period of fruitful co-operation in several matters pertaining to promotion of the game - I gave simultaneous displays at the LIC office on Trichy road and at a ladies college in Udumalpet both of which were organised by TPN -There was a coaching camp at the YMCA premises Coimbatore which was again initiated by TPN with the help of Bobby Samson of the YMCA - We were both together instrumental in starting off the 1st edition of the Nanjundiah memorial event sponsored by Shri.Basavayya from Mettupalayam – In the family sense I was all alone at Coimbatore during 1979-1983 and TPN never failed to invite me to his house for food and festivities every year during the Dipavali season - He was also like a senior family elder , guiding me in my personal life as I moved from bachelor life to domesticated routine in 1983 - TPN suffered from acute asthma right till the very end - I could not attend the marriages of his children but spoke over the mobile to wish him during the marriage - Fortunately my good friend Shri. Lakshmanaswami of Tirupur had gone in person and thus I could exchange a few words with TPN - I understood later that TPN was quite ill during the marriage itself - A short while later I learnt that he had passed away - I must have met TPN in so many chess functions and prize giving ceremonies and it is well known that TPN contributed a great deal of his time and energy to development of the game in Coimbatore and even the neighbouring districts - N. R. Parthasarathy - I was deeply shocked and very sorry to learn that sometime in late 2006 or perhaps early 2007 my old friend and chess lover N.R.Parthasarathy had passed away in an accident at Colombo in Sri Lanka - Presumably he was in some bank posting over there when it happened - I had a tough encounter with NRP in one of the events held at the Tal chess club premises at Madras - I recall that NRP had a rook and a couple of pawns against my bishop and knight - He might have missed his chances after which I won the ending - I am not sure but I think NRP was also involved as an organiser in Madras district and Tal club circles around the same time - We lost touch later and the news of his premature demise came to me as a rude shock - O. L. V. Rajaram - A veteran player from Madurai and I met him first during the Kasturi cup event held at the Gowri Kalyana Mantapa , Kilpauk , Madras in mid 1973 - I had a good game playing the black side of a stonewall setup against the Orissa star Pavitra Mohanty but walked into a bad rook ending and lost - OLV came up to me and commented "with extra pawns your game would have been good if you would have sacrificed the exchange" Quite true and though we did not meet over the board there we had several encounters later - I won most of them but once we had a thrilling draw from a Sicilian Dragon where OLV had a winning ending , exchange up with two rooks doubled on the 7th to boot but my stubborn and accurate defence resulted in a draw after he missed a few better continuations - I think this game was in one of the editions of the famous Mappillai Vinayagar events held every year at Madurai - OLV had a tactical style with unorthodox twists tossed in here and there - He used to play many "bet" games wherever he went - I think he travelled to many events all over the country and had tremendous passion to play the game - I recall that he scored a win over Manuel Aaron in the TN state chp at Coimbatore Agri University campus in late 1978 - You can also see the game Averbakh - Radjaram (that's how the foreign publications spell his name from a simultaneous display given by the veteran Soviet GM during his Indian tour in the seventies - I did not know much about him personally except that he was from Madurai - (Lot of people from there belonging to the "Sourashtra" group ) Ramdas Gupta - I did not know much about Ramdas Gupta - I knew that he held the record for highest percentage of points scored in the National-A mainly because I had turned in a good result with 12 wins and 5 draws at Vijayawada in late 1979 coming to around 85.29% - I understood from reports in magazines that Shri.Ramdas Gupta had scored rather heavily much earlier to surpass this figure in one of the National-A events held during 1950-1960 - If I am not mistaken he was also a member of the Indian team to one of the Chess Olympiads during the same period - Hailing from Uttar Pradesh he played for the UP team in the National team championship held at Khamgaon , Maharashtra in 1979 - I think our encounter there was on the top board in an English opening where I was black - The game went on to a rook ending which I thought could have been drawn by my distinguished but quite aged adversary who however erred and lost - I will locate the game to have it inserted here - S. Sampath - The first time I talked to Mr.Sampath was actually of all places in the toilet of the IIT Staff club in January 1973 - I was playing in their open tournament - It turned out to be the first ever tournament won by me and perhaps this was in the first round too - I said "hello" to the person standing to my left and we exchanged a few words before I realised that I was talking to my opponent - Sampath said he had come down from Delhi and I gathered he was in the teaching profession - We exchanged a few more words before getting back to the board to exchange more moves and I won the game - We played in several open events during 1973-1974 at Madras and I kept winning - I was in very bad form during the CAGAI event held at the Vivekananda college where I could score only 3.5/7 - I was in deep trouble with Sampath there but managed to draw the game - There was something that Mr.Sampath liked to do quite often - He would accost me and say "Is it true that you can beat Fischer if he gives you knight odds " "Sure" I used to reply "anytime and I will win every game , maybe even a couple of hundred in a row " Somehow this used to excite him a great deal - He would purse his lips and say "Oooh" - Around the same time another friend who played quite often in open events was my old friend from Habibullah road in T- Nagar , V.G.K. Prasad whose nickname was vujuk vujuk Vgkp - A. Sasidharan – I ran into Sasidharan probably from Thrissur or closeby in Kerala when we had the Kidsons trophy events at Calicut during 1975-1976 – I won with him in the black side of Richter Rauzer ending with a good bishop pair – He drew with me in one of the early rounds of the National-B at Patna in mid 1975 – I won the event with 11.5/15 but Sasi drew the 2nd round I think in an unusual Dragon Sicilian played by him as Black – He also drew with me in the 1979 Khamgaon National Team championship in the encounter between Kerala & Tamil Nadu – Sasi was in good form then and I had the worst of it playing white in a Benoni setup before I drew – In 1980 T.P.Narayanan the Coimbatore district Secretary and I were successful in starting off the 1st edition of the Nanjundiah memorial event sponsored by Shri.Basavayya from Mettupalayam – I won the event while I think Sasi came 2nd losing to me in a drawish but interesting rook ending that I annotated later for Chess India magazine – Around a year later in 1981 the National-B at Delhi was held and perhaps sometime later the same year we learnt that Sasi had passed away with his body found near a lodge – Many years later I learnt from my old friend Shri.Raghunatha Menon of North Peravoor that Sasi had taken it as some kind of challenge among his chess friends that he would definitely qualify for the National-A at the “B” event held at Delhi in 1981 – Since he failed he was perhaps driven in a fit of depression to commit suicide – A very talented player who could have given himself more time to achieve his targets – The company and closeness of well meaning friends can make a big difference in such cases – I will try to locate his games and insert them here later - P. R. Sastry - The brother of P.R.Tilak possibly hailing from Guntur and he was running chess events at the Andhra Gymkhana in Vijayawada when I met him for the first time in 1970 - Had an orthodox look about him wearing the white dhoti in traditional style - He was very kind to me and encouraged me a great deal with his advice around the time I had just started to learn and play the game - Senior people like Kutumba Rao , D.V.Ranga Rao , Rentala Subramaniam were around then - Andhra was quite strong in chess with Hyderabad and Vijayawada as the nerve centers - I remember that Sastry garu used to give meals coupons to all the participants of the Andhra state championship and in later years I used to marvel at the kind of fund raising ability that people like P.R.Sastry must have possessed to run chess tournaments so well in the early seventies - K.Sivaprasad and V.R.Bobba came in much later - P. F. Selvin - I met Selvin for the first time at the Chinglepet district championship held at the Surgical Instruments plant there sometime perhaps in 1973 - Mr.Sivarajan in a senior position there was a keen chess lover and a Mr.Menon used to run events in the district - Selvin used to play in many tournaments in Madras, Bangalore, Sivakasi - He had a look about him as if he had worked in the armed forces - Seemed to be fond of rum and if I remember right he dabbled a great deal with photography too taking many good shots of players in action - I have a picture with me featuring Anand around 15 years old at Sivakasi with my old pal TNP shot by Selvin - I think that Selvin later joined one of the Tamil Nadu transport corporations and worked there for a few years - Must have passed away a bit early when he was perhaps just close to or past fifty - Selvin won his last encounter with me in a rapid event at Pondicherry in 1991 that caused him to remark in relief "Thank god I have not lost to anyone four times in a row " - I must look up my records to check up and then chuck the whole lot here - My old friend Mani Kandaswamy who was pretty good in sizing up people's psychology in a chess context used to remark "Selvin has a weakness - He tends to play the move ...Qa5 whenever he is black - Just play a setup where a black move like ...Qa5 will be bad and you can have him -" Maybe true but we cannot test it as our old friend is not around anymore to play chess with us - Shahul Hameed - I met Shahul when he was playing in chess tournaments at Chennai close to 1980-1983 - I remember that he was rather close to my old friend T.N.Parameswaran - Shahul once got bugged by his opponent and decided to pull a trick - When the game was adjourned (we no longer have adjournments in chess but only in court cases) he wrote "Resigns" in place of the sealed move and did not turn up the following day for resumption - I think that the arbiter , probably our old friend "gurugaru" K.R.Seshadri was quite angry and gave him a warning - Shahul was with us during very often during 1980-1983 and I think he underwent some kind of music training course at Chennai - Later I heard that he was doing very well in the field of cine music - He was giving concerts at Singapore and I learnt that he sang some famous numbers like "Usilampatti penkutti" from the movie "Gentleman" - We were all proud and happy that one of our chess group friends had made it big in the Tamil movie industry - I met Shahul for the last time in person at the Taj Coromandel hotel during the wedding reception of our mutual friend K.V.Shantharam the well known National-A player from Chennai - Later I saw him on a New year TV programme singing the song "Naan malarodu thaniyaaga yeyn ingu nindreyn" - I was quite shocked to learn later that our good friend had passed away in a motor accident on the Tiruchi-Chennai highway when he was returning home from some music programme - Shahul will always be remembered by many of us for his chess and hit songs - T. Swaminathan - I was very sorry to learn that on 15th November 2007 my good friend T.Swaminathan born in 1957 and just past 50 years , succumbed to injuries sustained a few days earlier in a road side accident within Salem city limits - Son of the late Shri.Tharakaraman who used to play a great deal of bridge in Madras circles, Swaminathan or TS used to play a lot of bridge with us - He played in many major chess events during 1974 - 1984 that included places like Sangli, the National-B at Agartala, Palani and several TN state championships - This apart he also played in several All India Civil Services Championships - Very fond of the Sicilian Dragon like the late Attila Schneider - A great deal of the chess analysis he did on his own in B79 was not much publicised - After the routine moves 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cd4 4 Nd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 g6 6 Be3 Bg7 7 f3 Nc6 8 Qd2 O-O 9 Bc4 (the most popular line of the Yugoslav attack) Bd7 10 O-O-O Qa5 11 h4 Rfc8 12 Bb3 Ne5 13 h5 Nh5 14 Bh6 Nd3 (A tactical line but instead 14...Bh6 15 Qh6 Rc3 16 bc3 Nf6! is perhaps a preferable line for Black) 15 Kb1 Nb2 16 Kb2 Bh6 17 Qh6 Rc3 18 g4 Nf6 19 e5 Rb3! (Correct timing for if instead 19...de5 20 g5! Nh5 It can be seen that 20...Rb3 is too late because of 21 Nb3! and so after 21 Rh5 gh5 22 g6! White crashes through ) 20 ab3 de5 21 Ne2 Be6 (21...Bc6 22 g5 Nh5 23 Rh5!gh5 24 Ng3 e4 25 f4! Kh8 26 Nh5 Rg8 27 Nf6! Rg7 28 Nh7 Kg8 29 Rh1!) 22 Nc3 Rd8!? N (Lines seen earlier are 22...Rc8 23 Rd3 Qc7 24 Rh2 Rd8 25 Re3 Qc5 26 Qg5 Rc8 27 Rd2 e4 28 Qc5 Black better in 1974 as also 22...Rc8 23 Ne4 Rc6 24 g5 Nh5 25 Rh5 gh5 26 c4 Ra6 27 Nf6 gf6 28 gf6 Qa2 29 Kc3 Qa5 30 Kb2 draw shows up the similarity of tactical ideas in this setup) This new move 22...Rd8!? and its twin continuations that follow here should be attributed to T.Swaminathan (a) 26 Ne4 Rd1 27 Nf6 ef6 28 Qh7 Kf8 29 Rd1 g5! (b) 26 Rd8 Qd8 27 Ne4 Qd4 28 Kb1 Bd5 29 Nf6 ef6 30 Qh7 Kf8 31 g5! fg5 32 Qh6 Ke8! 33 Qg5 Kd7 34 Rh8 Kc6 35 Qe7 Be6 36 Rd8 Qc5 37 Qe8 Kb6 - In both lines of play TS reached a high level of analytical accuracy while today’s versions of Fritz are able to point out a few more promising moves for Black - I believe TS actually played a few tournament games from thereon in both lines of play at local events in Chennai and only his opponents can enlighten us further - I got a chance to test out this line for myself in the following game that might be of interest today only to someone like Chris Ward - Dr. R. Nagendra (A.P.) - RRS (T.N.) Round-2 National-A Agartala Feb 1983 that continued 22...Rd8!? 23 Rde1!? (23 Ra1!?) Rc8 24 Ne4 Qb6 (Keeping chances for ...Rc2,...Qb3 etc) 25 Re2 a5 26 g5 Nh5 27 Rh5 gh5 28 Rg2 Qd4 29 Ka2 Kh8 (I felt that 29...Rc2 30 Rc2 Qa4 31 Kb2 Qb3 could be played but tried to put off the imminent draw ) 30 Nf6 Rc2 (It was not clear to me then what would happen after the alternative 30...Bf5 31 Nh7 Qf4 32 Rg6 Rc2 33 Kb1 which might lead to endings possibly better for Black - Today in 2007 as a coach I can suggest that tournament considerations should not come in the way of taking more risks and basically playing out all positions as deep as possible but in 1983 I was only a player in unchartered territory) 31 Rc2 Qa4 32 Kb2 Qb3 Draw agreed - I was surprised to observe that though we had reeled off the first 21 moves in a few minutes , with even an error in the move order , we had both consumed over two hours each for the next 10 moves - Coming back , TS worked for many years in the A.G.'s office at Madras, later for the Parasurampuria Granite division , for Gem Granites of Salem and he also did a bit of agency work for Bikram Mehta of Delhi who ran firms like Custom Hydraulics and Hydra Mech Engrs - He will be missed by many of his former colleagues and perhaps more by his friends : from Madras the large contingent of chess lovers who also played cards and mostly Bridge or Black Maria at our old haunt , Lakshmi Lodge like J.Delli Babu, M.Ganesh, T.S.Karpaga Ganesh, R.Krishnan, S.Mani Kandaswamy, T.N.Parameswaran, R.Raghunathan, S.Santharam, S.Shankar, K.V.Shantharam, T.SunderRam, A.N.Venkatesan, from Delhi well known friends in chess/ bridge circles like Anup Chib, Ashok Alexander, Bikram Mehta and K. Krishnamoorthy, top players of yesteryears from all over the country like A.B.Meetei, K.Murugan , D.V.Prasad, Ravi Hegde and S.C.Sahu . Our condolences to the bereaved family - TS tended to moralise a great deal and he had rather rigid views about what was right and wrong - Gave a lot of advice to everyone around and for such good reasons earned the nickname "boss" - He even liked the nickname and used to announce his entry uttering "Und ist der boss" as he would enter room-6 in Lakshmi Lodge - A very reliable and loyal sort in personal relationships but at the same time very practical in day to day affairs of the world, especially in the commercial jungles of the business world - Only our close inner circles of friends would remember and understand what he meant when he would often say "e.x.m c.p.t.m - Jai Ho boss! We will all miss you very much especially the bridge and chess analysis that is so dear to us - S. K. Tarapore - A Parsi from Madras - Savak Tarapore If I remember right - Mr.Tarapore used to be the Secretary of the Madras District Chess Association around the time I entered Madras in 1972 - I remember that he used to go around in a black Rajdoot bike - He took me to the Mylapore Chess Club close to the Mandaiveli bus terminus where I was able to meet the then leading protagonists of the game like S.Kailasanathan of IIT, R.Raghunathan , N. Balasubramaniam , T.S. Karapaga Ganesh and a host of other local chess lovers - Mr.Tarapore could be seen often as the chief arbiter in most of the local events - Those were the days just the famous Fischer - Spassky match of 1972 when the time controls were set at 2 hours thirty minutes for 40 moves followed by 16 moves per hour - Very comfortable by modern standards of today but still many people used to get into time scrambles - I was the first player to play for India in the World Junior Chess Championships ( I played in the 13th World Junior at Manila Aug-Sept-1974 and India went unrepresented in the previous 12 editions of the event ) There is a background to this whole thing - When I won the National Junior at Delhi in Dec 1973 the AICF secretary Mr.Menon from IBM Delhi was impressed as I scored a clean 7/7 and he made arrangements for the Govt. to send me to the event for the first time - (Pretty tough as Govt. officials go strictly by precedents and past procedures) I was in Madras when the information reached me quite late with just 3 or 4 days to go - I remember that it was Mr.V.Kameswaran who came to my room in Lakshmi Lodge to inform me early in the morning and just a short while later Mr.Tarapore was around in his bike to take me around - I used to sport rather long hair at that time and Tarapore took me first to a saloon on Nungambakkam high road - He slipped a hundred rupee note in my pocket ( good money in 1974 ) and went away - He was back to take me to the passport office and persuaded the local passport officer to give me my new and first passport in just a few hours - Tarapore was also a strong astronomy buff - I think he was a life member of some such society in and around Madras - I was deeply interested too in star gazing and we made a rendezvous once on an early morning at Madras beach to witness the occultation of Venus ( a rare phenomenon when bright Venus is visible initially but gradually gets obscured as the Moon comes in between - (This reminds me of the Muslim symbol seen usually on flags where you see a crescent moon and a star - The star is shown as visible "within" the crescent which is impossible - The inner portion of the crescent represents the solid and unlit portion of the moon and obviously nothing should be visible there unless the object lies between the moon and the earth , again highly improbable - I mention this here only because my old friend ANV (A. N. Venkatesan) was also present at the beach to look at Venus and the Moon when we all had a kind of animated discussion about this point ) I used to discuss cultural matters of common interest with Mr.Tarapore - From him I learnt about the Parsi Fire temple within city area in Bangalore and also about a large piece of land owned and maintained by local Parsi bodies on Bellary road just beyond Hebbal - Told me about the Parsi new year day coming in March "the Navarozi" etc and I think Mr.Tarapore remained a bachelor to the very end - Nice gentleman , bald with a large moon like face , a smile all the time,spoke English most of the time and we will all miss him a lot - M. A. Vinayagamoorthy - Gentleman from Madurai whom I encountered for the first time in the Mappillai Vinayagar event held at their office premises during 1975 - Dark and stout with a large moon like face , he was employed in the same concern headed by Shri. M. A. Kandaswamy - I won the game in a Ruy Lopez exchange and he could be seen playing in many events but always wearing an orange turban - Later I understood that some members of the Sourashtra community and particularly those connected with the Meyvizhisalai Andavar group would wear such turbans - Shri.Vinayagamoorthy was around on several occasions whenever the top players would assemble at Madurai towards the end of the year to play in the annual edition of the Mappillai Vinayagar event - I am not aware when exactly he passed away and I suspect it could have been in some kind of accident - Matter given below is incomplete and being edited - Please read later for full details - RRS - R. B. Sapre - the first National champion of India - I met Sapre for the first time at the National-B 1973 Ahmedabad - I played a good ending with the CCAI (correspondence) champion Barve and won in a knight ending - A few sacrifices in the game and Sapre came around after the game was over with a few words of appreciation for my good moves - We did not get to play in that event - Sapre was already in the top six of National-A quite a few times and I was a newcomer - Our encounter came again but over the board in the Kidsons trophy event held for the 1st time at Calicut in 1974 - Many of the top players were invited for the event and ended up 3rd with + 7 = 2 - 1 behind Manuel Aaron & Mohammed Hassan - This included a win over Sapre when I played on the black side of a French Guimard variation - Sapre played excellent positional chess to gain the upper hand but in a tactical skirmish amidst time pressure I pulled off a few surprise moves leaving my rook hanging to win the game - Around the same time there was a curious incident - We used to have 2.5 hours for 40 moves then in spite of which many players used to get into time pressure - In the game between my old friend T. N. Parameswaran (better known as TNP) and Sapre there was a mild time scramble with about three minutes left for both players to complete the remaining moves - With just a few seconds to go TNP played his 40th move and made to get up - Sapre asked him whether 40 moves were over and got some reply - Forgetting that he was Black , Sapre kept thinking for the remaining three minutes on his clock and his flag fell - When TNP claimed a win on time , Sapre was surprised and cited the instance from the Mahabharata where Yudhistira uttered "Aswatthama ithi kunjaraha " meaning "Yes, Aswatthama" (and in a softer tone Psst ! I mean the elephant ! ) Apparently TNP's reply that his forty moves were over had not registered properly with Sapre - My encounter with him at the Jolly club Pune sometime in 1976 was where Sapre employed a KID setup against my English opening - He made a sharp pawn sacrifice with...f5-f4 and met g3xf4 with...Nh5! - I had to return the pawn with f4-f5 meeting ..g6xf5 with f2-f4! to equalise with White - The game took several turns and ended up with the well known R+B for me and R for Sapre - V. B . Adhikari - One of the strong Maharashtrian players from Poona - I met him for the first time in 1975 during the S.K.Vaidya Memorial event at Sangli - It was my first trip to Sangli and we met late towards the ending stages of the event - Adhikari was a regular King's Indian player throughout his career , playing the Classical Sicilian as Black (influence of GM Kuzmin's articles in Shakhmathy bulletins & Russian magazines like 64) and also the English opening as White - I recall that I should have won the game with a piece up but wrongly entered a queen vs bishop pawn on 7th draw much to the relief of Adhikari who won the tournament pushing me to the 2nd spot - We had many encounters in the years that followed during 1974 - 1979 - I lost a rook ending from an English opening with black in the National-A at Patna 1975 though I won the event - Adhikari was at his best there taking the 3rd place - Unfortunately the Indian Govt and its sports ministry had no provisions then to send Indian players or teams abroad - Otherwise I believe that Adhikari had it in him to score norms and perform well at the international level - One of the best players from Maharashtra - I won a few encounters on the white side of the Sozin attack that used to regularly essay against the Classical Sicilian - My only loss in the 15 rounds strongly contested Accumax Open event at Matunga Gymkhana 1976 was to Adhikari who played his favourite King's Indian - I ended up 2nd in a tie for 1st place with + 11 = 3 -1 alongside the Hyderabad veteran Mohd.Hassan who scored his typical 10 wins + 5 draws - S. D. Sakhalkar - a former secretary of the AICF - M. A. Kandasamy - Owner of the famous Mappilai group at Madurai - A. N. Parasuram - Former President of the Tamil Nadu Chess Association who ran the Minerva Tutorial College at Egmore - Mohammed Hassan K. K. Shukla - Former Treasurer of the AICF during the nineties - National-A player from Kanpur in UP - A. V. Sundar S. G . Shaligram? P. R. Tilak V. V. Sastry? Tempo Rao - The irony of the whole matter is that I do not know as yet the real name of the concerned gentleman - I better take you through the matter in serial order - Possibly sometime close to 1973 I was returning to Madras from Waltair (better known as Vizag or Visakhapatnam) by train and the gentleman sitting opposite , invited me to play chess with him - I was taken aback a bit as not many people play chess but started off - We must have played several games and I kept winning - Prof.Rao, a lecturer from New College in Madras , as he introduced himself , stopped playing and asked me whether I regularly played in tournaments - I had to come out with the details (not much as I had only won an open event or so and a few prizes by then) but Prof.Rao was pleased to make my acquaintance and invited me to meet his relative Tempo Rao , who he said , was rather enthusiastic about the game - I remember walking down Edward Elloits road to a building opposite the famous kalyan mantap and went upstairs with Prof.Rao to the first floor - I recall having a game with Tempo Rao and I learnt later that he wrote detective type novels in Telegu - So I suppose that Tempo Rao was his pen name (nom de plume eh?) - Well you can be sure I will find out more very soon - Dr . T. S. Mani ? D. S. Krishnaswamy - I did not know much about Shri.DSK except that he must have retired possibly from Govt service and that he was one of the keen chess lovers from Bangalore - I visited him at his place in Koramangala once and often ran into him at the local club where many chess events would be organised - K. V. Soundararajan ? R. K. Gupta Senapathy (Emesor) gent from Madras Rentala Subramaniam - Hailing from Kovvur in A.P and father of R.V.S.Moorthy as well as R.Nagendra who both played often in events for A.P - A. J. Miles - British Grandmaster - M. K. Gavande - Played a great deal of chess in Bombay chess circles - I think he used the Najdorf Sicilian in our encounter at Bombay - Could have been close to 1976 - My friend S.C.Sahu knew him a lot better during the early years of his stay in Bombay - Gemini Ganesan - the well known south indian film actor who figured in so many Tamil movies especially in romantic roles - T.T. Krishnaswamy - Former Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Chess Association - E.P.Geller - Ewfim. P.Geller the veteran Soviet Grandmaster - A.Lutikov - Soviet Grandmaster - Gunasekaran - Later known as Gunanidhi - From Tirupur and his father's younger brother is the well known politician Mr.Subbarayan from the Communist Party - Mr.Subbarayan is also well known for his oratory skills and I was present during his speech at a Tirupur chess function - Speaking in chaste Tamil Shri.Subbarayan remarked " The level of concentration displayed by chess players can be compared only with the high level of meditative stance adopted by sages and holy seers during their penance and allied practices" - Pulavar Balasubramaniam - From Tirupur - Hemant Deshmukh— C.S.Sharma D.V.Venkataraman—